Producers Handbook

Internal Procedures for Reference Up & Compliance


Channel 4's Internal Compliance Procedures are intended to enable, through best practice and reference-up, the responsible making and broadcast of the boldest and most challenging programmes which can be successfully defended to our regulators and in the Courts where necessary. To be effective the compliance process must include all staff involved in the making and broadcasting of programmes, online content and supporting material such as trails, press information and marketing.

The process requires knowledge of and adherence to the rules in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code ('the Ofcom Code'), this handbook ('the Handbook'), which includes the Viewer Trust Guidelines and other best practice guidelines. Also essential is close collaboration between all commissioning staff and programme-makers, input from compliance advisers and advice from the programme lawyers in the legal & compliance department.

The reference-up process, which lies at the heart of effective compliance, involves all staff in commissioning, the Commissioning Heads of Department, the Director of Programmes, the Chief Marketing Officer, the Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, the Director of Commercial Affairs and ultimately the Chief Executive. Also key to the compliance process are all staff in Online, Marketing, 4 Creative, Press & Publicity, Channel Management and VOD.

The following internal compliance procedures apply to all programmes commissioned by, purchased for and broadcast on Channel 4 and all its platforms, including E4, More4, Film4 and 4Seven (including all '+1' catch-up channels) and to all material published online including All 4 . It also includes all press and publicity, on-air and off-air marketing and publicity stunts, where they are likely to give rise to legal or regulatory complaint.

In addition to these internal compliance procedures, all online content is governed by Channel 4's Social Media Guidelines which should be read in the light of the over-arching principles in this section of the Handbook.

It is mandatory that all Channel 4 staff involved in the production and / or broadcast of programme, marketing and online content read and familiarise themselves with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, this Handbook and all internal compliance procedures.
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